Unlicensed to Kill: Pierce Brosnan sorry for ad promoting carcinogenic Indian chew tobacco product

Former James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan has apologised for his controversial appearance in an Indian advertisement promoting a brand largely known for producing chewing tobacco.

Brosnan told People magazine the ad made “unauthorised and deceptive use” of his image, with him claiming he was told the product was a “breath freshener/tooth whitener [and] all-natural, containing neither tobacco, supari, nor any other harmful ingredient”.

The product, pan masala and gutka are recognised carcinogens. Brosnan claims he was “manipulated” into representing the brand.

In a statement, he added: “Having endured, in my own personal life, the loss of my first wife and daughter as well as numerous friends to cancer, I am fully committed to supporting women's healthcare and research programmes that improve human health and alleviate suffering.

“As a man who has spent decades championing women’s healthcare and environmental protection, I was distressed to learn of Pan Bahar’s unauthorized and deceptive use of my image to endorse their range of pan masala products. I would never have entered into an agreement to promote a product in India that is dangerous to one’s health.”

Brosnan said he has demanded the removal of his image from the products and the advertising campaigns.